PITTSTON — With just two weeks until the group takes on a 5K hosted by the Pittston Memorial Library, things are starting to come together for the Wyoming Valley Lady Striders’ Couch to 5K training program.
Three times this week, the group will jog 2.5 miles, or for 25 minutes. In the final week, week 8, the group will jog for 2.75 miles, or 28 minutes. That all culminates with the Book It Through Pittston 5K on Saturday, Sept. 10 through the streets of downtown Pittston.
Catherine (Rose) Testa, 48, of Pittston, who has been part of the program since the beginning, is feeling confident, but nervous, over the final stages of the program.
“It’s going well,” she said. “We changed from time running to distance. That’s a little tough.”
Testa said the cooler weather has made it a bit easier as well.
“It’s certainly easier to breathe and you don’t get exhausted,” she said.
On Saturday, the group met in Pittston to go through the course. The biggest difference is that when the group trains during the week, the course they run on is mostly flat. The Pittston course, which is used by the Tomato Festival 5K and several other races throughout the year, is notoriously hilly.
“That’s why we’re going to check it out,” she said. “It’s a little ominous feeling with the hills, but we’ll have a better idea.”
The program is designed for participants to work up to running a 5K over an eight-week period. Different paces and intervals are designated for each week, working up to a 3.1 mile race. The Lady Striders group meets three times a week throughout the Wyoming Valley, including the levee in Wyoming and Forty Fort.
Testa has experience exercising but never really got into running prior to beginning the program. This, she said, is a great start for her to continue that trend.
“I hope I continue to do this,” she said. “I’m working through the pain and I’d like to continue it.”
If you missed this latest installment of the Lady Striders Couch to 5K training program, don’t worry. The Lady Striders will start a new program on Monday, Sept. 19. The program is limited to the first 50 participants.
This will be the Striders’ seventh program in the past two years. The practices will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. If interested, email Karen Moskel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, the group has 11 runners signed up for the 5K in September. And if you’re hesitant about getting started in such a program, Testa said it’s worth a shot.
“Everyone works with you and it’s great,” she said. “You never know until you try it.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick